The following is from American Red Cross - Montana

Bozeman, February 16, 2015On Friday, February 13, Governor Steve Bullock presented a 2015 ServeMontana Award to Montana Red Cross Volunteer Beth Morris.

Shown, left to right, are Gov. Steve Bullock, Montana Red Cross Volunteer Beth Morris, First Lady Lisa Bullock, and Karin Olsen Billings, Chair of the Service Committee, ServeMontana. (Photo: Red Cross, Montana)

The award is bestowed on outstanding community volunteers and organizations in the social impact areas of education, healthy futures, environmental stewardship, economic opportunity, veterans & military families, and emergency response.

“We are delighted that Beth Morris was chosen for this significant honor,” said Colleen Tone, Regional Disaster Officer for the American Red Cross of Montana and Idaho. “Beth has been volunteering with the Red Cross since 2011 and wears many hats, including that of regional duty officer supervising and mentoring disaster responders during a deployment. She is an outstanding volunteer supervisor and we are very lucky to have her on our leadership team.”

This is what ServeMontana had to say about Beth:

Beth Morris is recognized for her volunteer work with the American Red Cross and her willingness to assist Montanans through difficult circumstances.

For many years, Beth searched for ways to give back to her community. Four years ago, she found the perfect opportunity through with the Red Cross here in Montana. For a year and a half, Beth worked as a Disaster Action Team Lead in Ravalli County personally working with those who lost everything in fires. Some of her hardest experiences were when individuals lost a family member or pet in the fire and she was given the responsibility to console them. But she’s always been amazed with how much the Red Cross plays an indispensable role in getting survivors back on their feet. One of her most memorable fires was during the Lolo Fire in August of 2013. Beth played an integral role in ensuring that the Red Cross was there to help and that shelters would be ready to go in the case of evacuation.

Beth now serves as a statewide Duty Officer Supervisor. She is on-call every fourth week and oversees the management of the schedule to ensure that disaster duty officers are continually covered 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Through this leadership role, she has found a new rewarding mission by helping duty officers grow in their knowledge and learn to make pertinent decisions on their own.

The American Red Cross mission statement states that “The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers.” Beth is a true example of this statement. She plans to continue volunteering for the Red Cross for many years to come.

The 2015 ServeMontana Awards were presented in the Old Supreme Court Chambers at the Montana State Capitol. During the same event, First Lady Lisa Bullock also presented three awards to schools that have successfully fed children breakfast through the initiation and support of school breakfast programs.

The complete list of award 2015 ServeMontana Award recipients is as follows:

  • William Snell, Billings: Founder of the Pretty Shield Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that provides charitable and educational services to Montana American Indian communities.
  • Tom Meskimen, Martin City: Volunteer with the Martin City Fire Department for over 20 years.
  • Big Sky Youth Empowerment, Bozeman: Through the use of creative programs and outdoor activities, volunteers mentor at-risk youth and help them through difficult challenges.
  • Friends of the Montana Historical Society, Helena: 130 members who together devote an average of 600 hours per month volunteering to preserve, protect, and promote Montana history.
  • Thompson Falls Student Council: Student-led organization that organizes volunteer activities to care for the community.
  • Mary Olson, Missoula: Certified State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) counselor and Medicare Classroom Aide through the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP).